Unique Engagement Rings for the Love of Your Life

There is something quite magical about falling so deeply in love with someone that you want them to be your partner for life. In fact, this type of love can be so intense, it may feel like no words could adequately describe just how special this person is to you. This is why a truly unique engagement ring can sometimes express what’s in your heart better than any words you could ever speak! Moreover, these rings serve as a constant and beautiful reminder to your significant other of just how extraordinary they are to you.

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Unique engagement rings come in many different varieties ranging from antique engagement rings to sapphire engagement rings to contemporary engagement rings. You may also want to design your own ring with customizations such as filigree and hand engraving. Designing your own rings can also give you the best of both worlds. For example, some couples prefer to design their own brand new rings because of the superior materials and techniques used in modern rings but are still drawn to the styles of vintage engagement rings. In this case, it is possible for the couple to create a vintage style ring but still have the higher quality workmanship and materials of a modern ring. Below, you will find a discussion on several types of unique engagement rings. Hopefully, this will help you generate some good ideas for your own ring!

Filigree Engagement Rings

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If you and your partner are drawn to antique engagement rings and vintage engagement rings, you may want to design your own ring with filigree. Filigree is delicate wire work featuring intricate details and is more common in antique engagement rings and wedding rings. Filigree reached its peak in popularity during the late 1800s and early 1900s. If you have a family heirloom engagement ring passed down from your Grandmother, or perhaps even your great-Grandmother, there is a relatively high probability that you’ll find some filigree work in the design of this heirloom ring. Custom-made filigree engagement rings can never be copied exactly since the filigree work is all done by hand and it is extremely detailed. Filigree can be done in silver, gold, platinum, or a combination of these precious metals. The beautiful art of filigree traces back to the ancient Greeks and Romans but they were not the only cultures creating these delicate curls of metal. Archaeologists have also found intricate filigree metalwork in artifacts from ancient China and India. If you visit historic museums, you can often find examples of filigree rings and other jewelry from these cultures and see how skilled their artists were to be able to make such masterpieces.

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Hand Engraving

You can add hand engraving to any style of engagement ring on the inside, outside, or in both areas. Hand engraving is a great way of personalizing a ring while at the same time embellishing it with highly attractive design patterns. Hand engraving is often found on filigree engagement rings since the two types of detailing compliment each other and create a vintage appeal. You can add names, initials, treasured words that have special meaning to you and your partner, special dates such as your wedding date or the day you first met, embellishments, or small symbols. This means there is really no limit in how personalized you can make an engagement ring with hand engraving. The most popular design elements are scroll and wheat patterns, though often times floral or organic elements are used. There are two types of hand engraving you can choose from:

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Standard Bright-cut Engraving

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With standard bright-cut engraving, a polished graver point is used to make engraving cuts that look polished, i.e. “bright.” This is the most common style of hand engraving.

Relief Style Engraving

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With relief style engraving, the background metal is cut out so that the designs appear to project above the surface of the background metal (think of the raised mountains on a graphic relief map). This can be done in high relief, medium relief, or low relief, depending on your preferences so be sure to look at multiple examples before you make up your mind. The background metal in relief style engraving is also stippled. This type of engraving is more labor intensive to produce than standard bright cut engraving so it is more expensive.

Sapphire Engagement Rings

Sapphire engagement rings are a vibrant alternative to the more traditional, neutral toned diamond engagement rings. Sapphire is a very durable gemstone and will stand up to everyday use just as nicely as diamonds do. Sapphire comes in a variety of amazing colors beyond the beautiful blue that most people think of. Sapphire also comes in white, red, pink, yellow, orange, peach, green, and even purple! Something that many people don’t know about red sapphires is that they are also called rubies, and these luscious red gems make for truly regal pieces of jewelry. Adding color to an engagement ring is a fun way to create a mesmerizing piece that will truly stand out on your partner’s hand. You can choose your partner’s favorite color or choose a color based on a significant shared memory. Sapphire stones also mix well with diamonds and engagement rings containing sapphire stones can be used for a “layered look” to be worn with a more traditional wedding ring.

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Design Your Own Ring

Designing your own engagement rings with your partner is an extraordinary and exciting process. You’ll create special memories that will last a lifetime and the experience will bond you even closer together as you make all the necessary decisions. While this is reason enough to design your own ring, when the ring is finished, you will also end up with a highly customized engagement ring that will follow you and your partner everywhere you go. It is something you can share with your family and friends, and potentially your children as well. In fact, your personally designed custom engagement ring becomes a one of a kind original heirloom you can pass down through the generations of your family along with the story of your love.

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If you’d like an old-fashioned look, or even something historic, you can bring in pictures of antique engagement rings and vintage engagement rings you like and share these with your designer. Some couples prefer to come up with a design that matches their cultural heritage. You may also want to combine two or more traditional cultural styles into one ring if you and your partner have a mixed heritage.

If you and your partner prefer a more sleek, modern look, you can still custom create your engagement ring from inspiration images or from combining your favorite details. When you design your own ring, you automatically have the amazing benefit of being able to combine the different elements you love most into one single ring! You can also incorporate elements most liked by each partner into a single style ring. In this way, your ring design becomes a collage of your tastes and preferences — a constant symbol of your union.

Rose Gold Engagement Rings

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If you or your partner are set on having diamonds for your gem stones but still want to use color in your rings then consider changing the metal of your design to rose gold. With rose gold engagement rings the warm hue of the peachy-pink colored metal provides a luxurious twist on the cool tones of white gold or platinum. Rose gold is quickly gaining popularity with those who want to create a unique ring because it makes an impressive statement without being too ostentatious. Of course if you love color then you can also combine a sapphire gemstone with a rose gold band to create a magnificent piece that truly reflects your personality. Rose gold can also be used in combination with other precious metals as either the main color or as an accent.

Mokume Gane Engagement Rings

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Mokume Gane is a tantalizing option for adding detail to the band of a ring and this type of metalwork goes back more than three centuries. Mokume Gane has its origins in 17th century Japan (1600s), during the heyday of the Samurai. The term “Mokume Gane” translates into “wood grain metal,” although it is actually a composite of different colored metals that are fused under high pressure and high heat until the jeweler can work with it as one solid piece. The different colors of the metals interwoven together gives the Mokume Gane design a wood grain-like appearance. This beautifully crafted metal composite was originally used to decorate the swords of the great Samurai warriors, but over time Mokume Gane was also incorporated into jewelry. There are different types of patterns that can be achieved when creating Mokume Gane but the classic wood grain and a star burst pattern are two of the most common. Any engagement ring or wedding band created with Mokume Gane details will be one of a kind because each billet of the composite is created by hand which means every pattern ends up being slightly different than others of the same type.

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Split Shank Engagement Rings

The band on split shank engagement rings divides into two or more bands as it approaches the center stone of the ring. In this way, the eye is naturally directed toward the center stone, whether it be a traditional diamond engagement ring or a sapphire engagement ring. Therefore, a split shank band is a great choice if you really want to highlight your center stone. If you create your own custom ring, you may want the back of the band in a split shank engagement ring to be solid to allow more space for special engraving on the inside. On the other hand, you and your partner may prefer several slim bands interwoven together to create movement and dimension in the design.

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Wide Engagement Ring Bands

Extra wide bands give engagement rings a regal look and allow lots of room for customized details. These have become very popular with our customers, generating many inquiries on how to create new custom designs. Wider engagement ring bands can also give you more space to include longer inscriptions inside the ring and other custom engravings. With wider engagement ring bands, you also have more room to include a more intricate design in split shank engagement rings. With wide bands, you can include a traditional, single center stone or you can choose more evenly spaced diamonds and gem stones. More and more frequently people who choose a wide banded ring use it as their engagement ring and wedding band all in one.

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Patterns Inspired by Nature

Some couples choose to design their engagement rings to include motifs and patterns inspired by nature. Mother Nature is after all a remarkable artist! While the options for doing so are endless, a few of the more popular nature inspired elements include intertwining branches of a tree representing the union of the couple, leaves, flower blossoms, and nature inspired geometric patterns such as the inner spiral found in many seashells or the pattern you might see on the back of a sea turtle. If you and your partner are nature enthusiasts, these details may be perfect for expressing your personalities. Nature inspired motifs are also common on antique engagement rings and vintage engagement rings so they fit in well if you are inspired by these older designs.

Hiding Secret Details Inside a Ring

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Sometimes what makes an engagement ring the most special is not what you put on display to the world, but what you “hide” on the inside of the band such as a special message for your true love. In this way, you can choose to keep these details just between you and your partner and/or share these details only with the most special people in your life such as family members and close friends. In some instances, the phrasing of the words on the inside of an engagement ring is something that no one else will understand of unless you explained it to them; something that only you and your partner, and perhaps those closest to you both, know about.

Additional Thoughts About Unique Engagement Rings

Your engagement ring is a lifelong symbol of your enduring commitment and love for your unique partner. It is only natural for you to want the engagement ring you choose to reflect the personality of the one you adore. Unique engagement rings say to your darling, every day, that they are exceptional, treasured, and loved immensely. The custom-made ring that you propose with will be a constant reminder of the very special bond you two share. Making your engagement rings unique gives you the opportunity to infuse your heart, soul, and outstanding personalities into the ring.

While customizing your engagement rings may at first seem like a daunting task, here at Knox Jewelers we are thrilled to walk you through the process step by step in such a way that it seems totally natural to design your own engagement ring. This makes it easy and fun to express yourself in the details of the ring without having to be a professional designer or creative artist to do so! Remember too, you can actually combine different elements from different rings you have seen and liked, so in a sense, you can become a mosaic artist. So you if you like the band on one ring, the pattern of the settings on another ring, and the way the inscription is done on another ring, speak to your designer about combining all three elements into one ring.

You may have noticed that people often cry over engagement rings, this is because there is probably no other object, except perhaps their wedding ring, that evokes a more deep heart-felt emotion. This is why it is important to pay attention to details and get your custom engagement ring absolutely perfect. Knox Jewelers can be a trusted partner in this process and can help you with one of the most important decisions of your life. We take pride in creating heirloom quality masterpieces that are the perfect fit for you and your partner.

Unique Wide Wedding Rings and Engagement Bands

We receive calls and emails from around the world inquiring about our unique wide wedding bands and unique engagement band designs. The ring designs that generate the most inquires tend to be wider than average designs. Some have center stones, like the cushion cut diamond, while others do not. All are singularly unique in their design and are meticulously and expertly hand crafted from the ground up. We feel these two facts combined help our wedding rings (especially signature designs such as these) stand out from more conventional wedding band or engagement ring styles. In fact, many of these unique rings would translate well as a right hand ring or anniversary band.

We wanted to have an article in our journal that featured some of these wide wedding ring designs along with a little info about each ring. Please note that the images are linked (when possible) to additional photos/videos of the design.

Let’s start with a design that features a wide ring design with an Asscher cut center diamond along with sky blue sapphires set in the filigree between the two diamond pave set outside rails of the ring.

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Here are other versions of this beautiful, unique, wide wedding ring:

Shown with a princess cut center diamond and deeper blue sapphires set in hand made filigree.

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This unique wide wedding ring is shown with a radiant cut center diamond and rich green natural emeralds set in hand made filigree.

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This engagement ring is shown with a princess cut center diamond and bead-set micropave diamond rails. Some of the filigree scrolls have diamonds set in them

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This next wide wedding ring was a real labor of love for our artisans and we think this fact ‘shines through’ in the beautifully intricate detailing of the unique ring design. This is one of our wider ring designs at approximately 15mm

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Since our original “Caledonia” design was created we’ve had a few custom versions made with center diamonds and sapphires.

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Here are two versions of our Dolce design. A very unique wide wedding ring, set with fancy colored diamonds in two tone gold to accentuate the diamond color.

Here is our “Dolce” wedding ring set up with fancy yellow diamonds in 18k Yellow Gold with 18k White Gold.

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Here is Dolce set up with fancy pink diamonds in 14k Rose Gold.

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This is another unique wide wedding ring with an open pattern flower, leaf and vine motif.

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Here is our “North Star” Design… A very vintage style engagement ring when set up with a center diamond. Or can be used as an engagement or anniversary band (right hand band).

“North Star” with a low set center diamond.
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Our Original “North Star” Wedding Band.

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Allamanda features a flowing leaf and vine pattern. Set with several smaller round diamonds, this ring would also make a lovely right hand ring.

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The following engagement ring was a big favorite when it came through the shop. The interplay of the deep blue sapphire with the bright white of this polished white gold makes for a stunning contrast. Similar to Allamanda, this unique ring features an organic leaf pattern.

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The wedding ring below was created using 18kt white gold and 18k yellow gold. To truly appreciate the craftsmanship on this wedding ring, click on the photo to see other views, as well as a video.

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Hand Engraved Engagement Ring Designs

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Knox Hand Engraved Ring Designs

Hand engraving on jewelry and other metal objects is a very specialized art form in and of itself and when skillfully placed on an already high quality ring, can make for an absolutely unique and heirloom quality piece of jewelry.

The actual engraving is done with an extremely sharp tool called a graver. The graver is used to carefully carve a pattern or design into the metal, leaving no room for error. The artisan that does the hand engraving will have various sizes, shapes, and angles of gravers that they use for different effects/designs. The cutting into the metal with the graver is often (but not always) facilitated by small hand held pneumatic devices that are essentially small pneumatic hammers.

What is Cast in Place engraving or CAD-CAM engraving?

It is important to differentiate between actual hand engraving and the much more commonly found cast in place engraving or CAD-CAM engraving in which a design or pattern is placed in the wax or prototype of the item being cast to give the look or effect of hand engraving.

Here are a few examples of cast in place engraving or CAD-CAM engraving.

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Example #1 of cast in place ‘engraving’

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Example #2 of cast in place ‘engraving’

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Example #3 of cast in place ‘engraving’

Is it possible to tell the difference between hand engraving and cast in place engraving?

The quick answer is no, a novice may not always be able to tell the difference.

While even a novice may be able to tell the difference between extreme examples from both methods, (the example photos used here are classic examples of the representative methods) please note that there will be many examples from both methods that may be virtually indistinguishable from each other when looking at merely photos, especially to a novice.

That said, the predominant indication of cast in place/faux engraving will be a ‘smoothed out’ or ‘polished down’ look to the detailing in the pattern as opposed to a much sharper or crisper pattern in hand engraved designs.

Here are a few examples of actual hand engraved engagement rings. Notice the sharpness and crispness of the detailing in the patterns.

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Example #1 of a hand engraved engagement ring design

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Example #2 of a hand engraved engagement ring design

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Example #3 of a hand engraved engagement ring design

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Example #4 of a hand engraved engagement ring design

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Example #5 of a hand engraved engagement ring design

Unique Engagement Ring Styles – Filigree

Filigree Engagement Rings

What exactly is filigree?

Filigree is fine and delicate ornamental work done in platinum or gold wire.

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Filigree can be located on the shank or crown portion of the ring. It can be used as a main, accent, or complementary design element. By definition, filigree is wire work done by hand.While it’s very common to see mass produced pieces with cast in place filigree, only true hand wrought wire can be considered as such. Hand curled filigree is an extremely skilled and tedious task as the wire used is often under half of a millimeter or the thickness of 3-4 pieces of paper. It takes a steady hand in welding wire to a ring and is often done under a 10X microscope to ensure proper contact and alignment.

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The design pictured above uses filigree to hold several very light blue ceylon sapphires.

Click here to see our selection of filigree engagement rings.